How are ulcers treated?

There are several ways in which ulcers can be treated, including making changes to one's lifestyle, taking medication, and/or having surgery.


If you have an ulcer, you should first eliminate substances that can be causing it. If you smoke or drink alcohol, stop. If the ulcer is believed to be caused by the use of NSAIDs, they need to be stopped.


  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPI): Proton pump inhibitors reduce acid and allow the ulcer to heal. PPIs include Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Aciphex®, Protonix®, and Nexium®.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used to treat H. pylori. There are multiple combinations of antibiotics that are taken for two weeks, along with a PPI. Some doctors also recommend taking Pepto-Bismol®.


Some bleeding ulcers can be treated through the endoscope.


An operation may be needed if the ulcer has created a hole in the stomach wall or if there is serious bleeding.

Will drinking milk help cure an ulcer?

No. Milk can make your ulcer worse. Milk provides brief relief of ulcer pain because it coats the stomach lining. But milk also causes your stomach to produce more acid and digestive juices, which can make ulcers worse.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/12/2016.


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